Music Mondays: Five songs I love: John Entwistle

The Who is pretty well my favourite band of all time. Without a doubt. Way back in the seventies (yes, I'm that old) when everyone else was arguing about whether the Beatles or the Stones were the greatest rock 'n roll band in the world, I always argued it was The Who. Townshend, Daltry, Moon were the noisy ones, the famous ones, the crazy ones. But the bassist, John Entwistle, he was The Quiet One. The one who held it all together.

So, over the years I've collected a fair big of Who music, but also solo stuff by Pete Townshend and a bit by Roger Daltry. But also John Entwistle, who's dark humour has always really appealed to me. Most Who albums had one or two tracks written by him, sometimes more. He usually only sung one of them as he realized early on if he wrote more for Daltry's style he'd get more songs on the albums.

Anyways, here we go. Five by The Ox.

  • Too Late the Hero, from his 1981 solo album of the same name.
  • 905, one of my favourite Who songs, an obscure track from the Who Are You album. This version is performed by the John Entwistle Band.
  • My Wife, one of Entwistle's darkest and most misanthropic songs. From Who Are You.
  • Heaven and Hell. A Who song, one of my favourites, again darkly humourous.
  • The Real Me. While this Quadrophenia song was written by Pete Townshend, it really showcases Entwistle's bass playing. Here's a JEB version.

There's a tribute DVD that was released a couple of years ago that's really fantastic. It has interviews, appreciations and quite a bit of concert footage: John Entwistle: An Ox Tale. Left for Live: Deluxe and So Who's the Bass Player: The Ox Anthology are great introductions to Entwistle's music.

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I've had the pleasure of seeing the who live in concert twice. The first time was at MSG in New York shortly after Entwhistle died so I missed seeing him play. Because of the recency of his passing (only a few days prior), the show became something of a tribute to him and was probably the best concert I have ever seen.

Certainly they were the best live band of their time (never saw them, but The Kids Are Alright DVD is some pretty good evidence).
Legend has it the Stones buried their show "The Rolling Stones Rock 'n Roll Circus) for years because the Who blew them off the stage.